Pollution is a growing problem throughout the world. Air pollution not only causes devastation to the environment, it is also detrimental to our skin. In Asia, a region well-known for smog and dangerous air pollutants, anti-pollution skin care products have become an increasingly popular and established trend in the skin care market. With pollution becoming worse in Europe and the United States, these products are beginning to take hold in the west as well.
As these products grow in popularity, it is important for you to be aware of anti-pollution skin care products.
Danger of Air Pollution to our Skin Health
The harmful effects of pollution to our health is well documented. However, the effects pollution has on skin is just now being studied and understood. Air pollution includes chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) which are released into the air from burning coal, gasoline, trash, and tobacco products to name a few sources. These chemicals can cause depletion of moisture in the skin. Due to these facts, doctors believe it is a good possibility that continual exposure to air pollution could have negative health effects on skin.
Origins of Anti-Pollution Skin Care Products
The anti-pollution skin care trend had its beginnings in Asia, particularly China, a nation well-known for smog and excessive air pollution. China is the largest emitter of green house gasses in the world accounting for 27 percent of global emissions. The explosive growth of China’s economy has resulted in the construction of hundreds of new coal plants annually. This has resulted in highly increased emissions of harmful air pollutants.
As a result, Chinese women began noticing brown spots forming on their skin and overall declining skin health. Skin care cosmetic firms in Asia quickly researched solutions to protect women’s skin and anti-pollution cosmetic products were born.
From Asia to Europe to Canada
Anti-pollution has been a huge trend in Asia but, in the western world, it’s still relatively new. Air pollution isn’t just a problem on the Asian continent of course. Great Britain’s Capitol of London broke its air pollution level in just the fifth day of the year! This record level occurred three days faster than last year. The level of chemicals in Britain’s air has become so bad that London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a health crisis.
Great Britain is also known as a leader and trend-setter in the beauty and personal care market. This is why experts keep a close eye on the UK market for new emerging products. The numbers show that anti-pollution products have definitely taken hold with an estimated market value of over $3 million pounds. While this is not a relatively large figure compared to the overall market, it is growing quickly.
After securing a niche market in Great Britain, anti-pollution cosmetics are now crossing the Atlantic and making their way to Canada. New companies have already released an array of new products available to the public.
How Anti-Pollution Products Work
As skin care experts know well, the outer of layer of skin has lipids, which are fats that bind skin cells together. Air pollution can oxidize lipids, inflame the skin, and cause a break down of the outer skin. When the outer skin breaks down, it can be a danger to the rest of the body. Since skin is the main immune barrier for the rest of the body’s organs, when the skin starts breaking down, chemicals can get into the body easier.
The main anti-pollution products released in the United States have different strategies to protect the skin. Air pollution has damaged the earth’s ozone layer causing less protection from the sun’s harmful effects. To combat this, new products focus on protecting the skin from harmful UV rays from the sun by applying SPF based products combined with important antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. These vitamins help heal and seal the skin from hazardous chemicals.
In addition to protecting the skin from harmful UV rays, cleansers are also available to wash the skin from microscopic and harmful particles in the air that attach to the skin. While these particles are not immediately harmful, without the use of cleansers, the particles, as noted above, could cause inflammation and skin barrier break down. These cleansers wash off the harmful air pollutants but not the important key oils that protect the skin.